Showing posts with label swimming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label swimming. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer Holiday

School's out! Well actually it was out almost a month ago, but the point is I'm writing about it now and not after the next school year has begun. Which, if you consider my track record, was not entirely an impossibility. The thing is, what with all the recent bai woes and the daily school run, life had become pretty darn hectic. Nikki's mother toddler group which we started when she was about fifteen months old had progressed from an hour, thrice a week, to one and a half hours, all five days a week and the timing had also shifted from a leisurely 11.30am to 10.00am, which is a whole lot more demanding when you live a good half hour away and have a toddler who likes to ponder on the various intricacies life throws up while chomping away at the morning meal for a couple of hours each day.

Most mornings thus saw me scrabbling though the two hours I had at hand after Nikki woke up to get self and child ready for school at breakneck speed, get aforementioned breakfast down Nikki's gullet at a pace that would put the most steadfast snail to shame, and cram some toast down my own throat before whizzing off to school. Needless to mention, Nikki would choose exactly half past nine, designated we-need-to-leave-NOW time, to bless her diaper, necessitating operation clean up and ensuring that we reached school just in the nick of time. Since the program we'd signed up for was a mother-toddler one, the one and a half hours we spent there everyday demanded equal participation from both me and Nikki and much vigorous moving-to-the-music and building sandcastles later we'd go back home to bath, lunch and nap time for Nikki and about two hours of downtime for Mommy. Except that the two hours downtime tended to bear an uncanny similarity to weekends; Sunday evening strikes before you've properly begun to savour the beginning of Friday night, and before I could park myself on the couch to vegetate or open that latest book, Nikki would be up, bright and chirpy and raring to go to the park. Some days there would be play dates or birthday parties to go to, and all in all, my post baby life was beginning to get almost as demanding as my pre-baby corporate one. Except, of course, that this time round I have a boss who is wayyyy more demanding!

I was quite looking forward to the onset of the summer holidays therefore; glorious, lazy days filled with endless hours of doing nothing and I was quite unprepared for the summer camp frenzy that routinely strikes most mums this time of the year. I got my first taste of it on the last day at school where a bunch of mums were earnestly exchanging notes about different summer camps and poring over brochures of the same. They were aghast when I told them I wasn't planning to enroll Nikki in one, with reactions ranging from 'you're compromising on developing a strong educational base for your daughter' to the more pragmatic 'you'll go nuts with her in the house all day', but I resisted the impulse to go check out the summer camps in the neighborhood. Not that I have anything against summer camps, I don't know enough about what goes on in them to really have a strong opinion for or against them, but I'm home this summer with Nikki and I don't see her losing out on anything by just enjoying the holidays at home, the way I used to when I was a kid. Besides she's just two years old and there's enough time for summer camps later, even though the average age for summer camp where I lives seems be to thirteen months, so going by that her educational base seems to be compromised quite a bit already!

We've had fun so far too, Nikki and I. Apart from a few weekend trips we haven't really gone anywhere so most days are spent in and around home. We spend the mornings either in the 'big' swimming pool or in Nikki's smaller baby pool at home, with her toy ducks, fishes and her paddling dog Pogo for company. If Nikki's not in the mood to be a water baby, we bring out the paints and shaving foam and play dough and muck around in the balcony creating various works of art. The only person who doesn't seem too happy about us honing our artistic skills is the maid who gets to clean the balcony when she comes around every afternoon. No surprise then, that she's recently announced a ten day trip for some 'sudden' wedding in the family. No problem, coz cleaning-up is Nikki's new found passion! Give her a sponge and a bucket and she can keep herself occupied for hours. We'd gone out for lunch recently to a bistro which had a little fountain in the seating area and it took all my persuasive efforts to keep Nikki from ripping off her tee and mopping the tables with the fountain water!
Evenings usually see us headed out to a nearby park or the zoo or a play date with some of Nikki's school friends and before you know it another glorious summer day is over and another one has begun.

All too soon summer will end and it'll be time for Nikki to go to school on her own, as she 'graduates' from the mother toddler program to playgroup. Time for me to let go a little. And so, this summer I just want to enjoy every little bit with my baby while she's still a baby. Enjoy the feeling of waking up in the morning with nowhere to go and nothing to do, soak in the early morning sun in the balcony while Nikki makes me a cup of tea in her kitchen set, go for an impromptu picnic to the neighborhood park when the mood strikes with banana chips and nutella sandwiches, luxuriate in long afternoon naps and spend hours in the mellow evening sun studying the interesting shapes clouds make. Here's to summer holidays then! How're you spending yours?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tales from a battle weary (and plump) boulder... er, soldier

I've been feeling a little blah lately because of the ongoing and downward spiraling battle of the bulge, so in order to rev things up a bit on the fitness front I thought I'd try something different with my fitness routine* pause for hysterical laughter*. Gymming has been rather boring of late and there's only so much I can take of Karthik (with an aych, mind you) the insufferable gym instructor and his snide remarks. Now the intelligent reader's thoughts might drift to swimming at this juncture, given that 'tis the season to flaunt those well toned bikini bods *more hysterical laughter* but at this point I will take a moment to point out, gently but firmly, that when one resembles a human pudding in one's pre-pregnancy swimsuit, one does not allow one's mind to flit such like.

And so I began thinking about yoga as an alternative option. Now I've done yoga before several times even though, as with so many other things in my staggeringly inconsistent life, I've never managed to stick to it regularly. But the point, is I quite like the whole gentle stretching, rhythmic breathing, connecting with your self, feeling Zen jig and so I began scouting around for a yoga class in right earnestness. As luck would have it (and it often does) there was a yoga class right next door, in the building opposite mine to be precise and a kindly soul pointed out the yoga teacher to me at my evening j-roll. She was a benign looking lady, dressed in a pristine white salwar kameez with an unperturbed air about her even though her two year old toddler was stuffing mud in his mouth while the girl supposed to mind him was busy checking out the local male attractions. Clearly she had achieved an admirably calm state of mind where all the petty irritations of life ceased to matter. I approached her feeling a renewed sense of inspiration, convinced that yoga was the right choice for me given that I deal with S the cacophony queen & the blow hot-blow cold part time help on a daily basis and am often left with frazzled nerves at the end of  a harrowing week with the two. The yoga teacher, V, was quite happy to accommodate me in her morning batch and asked me to come for a trial class the next day on an empty stomach. I buzzed off feeling quite chuffed and spent the rest of the evening seeing visions of myself dressed all in white, in a cross legged meditative pose, meditating by a pristine beach with white sands and not a toned bikini bod in sight. With a flower tucked behind one ear, perhaps.

The next morning I was up at the crack of dawn, and donning my loosest, most flowing clothes, I shimmied across the  park to the opposite building. The crisp early morning air invigorated my senses and the morning lark was doing a dashed good job singing its merry tune, leaving me feeling rather benign myself as I reached V's house where the class was to be held. "Good morning!" I chirped with a gentle smile as V opened the door only to freeze mid-way with the g smile plastered to my face as I caught sight of V. Who was this woman who stood before me dressed in a bright red leotard, with leopard print tights?! Sure she resembled the V from the park yesterday, but, er, weren't those spikes in her hair? "Hi" the new V said crisply, ushering me in. "You're seven minutes late. Please come on time from tomorrow." I tottered in still desperately clutching on to the image of the pristine white, calm lady from the day before who would gently guide me through some invigorating stretches and  rhythmic breathing with a dash of meditation thrown in at the end. And then I caught sight of the rest of the class. They were all dressed like V, with leotards and tights and slightly spiked hair. All they needed was a 'V for Vendetta' emblazoned across their foreheads and the picture would be complete. "Go, Go Go Class!" yelled V deftly tossing a yoga mat at me as I scrambled for a place, the visions of gentle stretching shattering in my mind's eye. "Jog!" screamed V and the assembly of Spiked Skin Tights began huffing and puffing on their respective yoga mats. "On your backs, air cycling!" commandeered V without missing a beat as the SST's flopped down and legs began slicing the air vigorously. "Turn around, the air twist!"....and on and on it went. At one point V & the SST's began pirouetting through the air swinging their arms in unison at which point my choice of attire became a serious constraint, flapping against the floor with a disconcerting 'thwack thwack' as I self consciously tried to focus on the pirouettes. "Right!" yelled V after about a half hour more of kicks and swings, "Quiet Time!". Everyone perched on their mats, legs crossed, hands on knees with the thumb and forefinger in perfect O's and assumed an air of calm. "Finally!" I breathed in relief, squishing down on my mat, only to be given away by my treacherous stomach which chose this moment to make its presence felt through some persistent, feed-me-NOW, growls. Thankfully, V switched on some music which drowned the sound out and the SST's began swaying in some kind of group chant. I tried swaying with them before giving up and focusing instead on quietening the grumbling tummy with some deep breathing.

"How did you like class?" V asked with a return of the gentle smile from the park as I prepared to leave at the end of the class.
"It was, er, very unlike any yoga class I have attended in the past. Is this some different from of yoga?" I asked tentatively.
"Oh yes, this is Vow Yoga, a mix of Power Yoga and my own brand of yoga, so V for Vow." she smiled back. "We are putting up a show next week, that's why we all dress like this, it helps keep the group inspired."
"Er a yoga show?" I asked.
"No, a Vow show, more like aerobics you know. Anyway you can wear what you feel comfortable in." she patted me on the arm gently and ushered me out as a new batch of SST's began trooping in for the next class.

I flopped across the park feeling decidedly ungainly in my loose attire and greeted P who was partaking of the morning tea and toast with a gloomy hi.
"So how was the yoga class honey?" he asked cheerily "Are you feeling all Zen and meditative?"
"Er, it was more like aerobics actually" I sighed "With some mediation thrown in at the end."
"Well that's great, you get to try something new!" said P the indefatigable optimist.
"Yeah but I'd signed up for yoga you know, not Vow whatever! I miss all the gentle stretching, and rhythmic breathing and meditating with a flower tucked behind one ear."
"Well maybe you can look for a more traditional class then sweetie. And you can always meditate at home you know? With the flower tucked behind one ear too" said P breezily as he sped away to work.

I spent the rest of the day ruminating over the corruption of the traditional form of yoga that I know and love, with all these new fangled concepts before deciding that there was really no harm in giving Vow Yoga a shot. I mean there was no other yoga class nearby that I knew of with convenient timings and the only other option I had was the gym with the snide remark passing Karthik (with an aych) or the horrifying image of a blob of jelly, vaguely resembling me, by the pool.

"I'm going to do Vow Yoga, I've decided" I informed P that evening as he tickled Nikki's tummy. "I'll show 'em all I can pirouette like no other!"
"Ok honey" said P mildly "Do you need a leotard then?" ( He doesn't know the REAL reason I'm avoiding the pool you see.)
"Er no, think I'll stick to tracks" I said and retired to bed to dream of myself pirouetting to some strange chants in mid -air as the rest of the SST's applauded. 

I was woken up mid- dream to my screeching mobile to find P sitting up as well, clutching his ear. My mobile had slipped under his pillow at night and the ringer had apparently gone off right in his ear. "Its an SMS from your yoga teacher" he said grumpily rubbing his ear "she's leaving for Delhi, some family emergency, so the class is off for a few days."
"Its a sign from God!" I said feeling strangely relieved as I tucked myself in bed again "I guess this new fangled yoga is not for me!"
"Whatever" said P still miffed "And could you please change your SMS alert tone, to something other than this fire engine alarm you have now?"

It's been a fortnight since V mysteriously vanished overnight and the Vow class got called off. None of the other SST's   seem to know of her whereabouts. Quite a few of them are understandably miffed about it since they'd paid for the entire month and bedsides they never got to perform at the Vow show. As for me, I'm looking for another yoga class, a traditional one this time with no frills attached. I'm also thinking in the meantime of hitting the gym again and being regular this time round.
And so it was that this morning saw me headed toward the gym, gym bag slung across my shoulder. And that disdainful sniff that was heard as I passed by the pool replete with b toned bods which unfortunately must be passed on the way to the gym was just my dreadful, dreadful cold. Or something.